The decline of hotel occupancy in 2020 is not news. Even though occupancy rates have increased since the Coronavirus outbreak, recovery is still uncertain. Hotel owners will need to be evermore strategic moving forward. Here are four things hotel owners can do to survive into 2021.
Personalize Your Customer Experience
Tom Knighton, Conversant Solutions, pointed out, “Customer experience is the next competitive battleground. It’s where a business is going to be won or lost.” Customers are individuals and have come to expect customizations. It’s no longer enough to offer clean and comfortable accommodations. Customers are looking for an experience customized to their taste.
So how can a hotel owner peresonalize the customer experience? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Get to know your guests before their stay. Ask questions and collect information about them during pre-booking.
- Use this information to send guests helpful information about their visit before they even check-in.
- Leave personalized notes with recommendations for their stay. Bonus if these notes are handwritten.
- Keep notes about your guests’ stay for future reference.
- After their stay, send guests emails with relevant questions to collect feedback.
Customers are looking for companies with more than just products and services. They are looking for a connection and empathy. The best way to create a relationship with people is always to start with listening. Listen to your customers, learn their needs, fears, and pain points. Then make the necessary adjustments to address these issues. That could mean you may have to tailor your products or services, reexamine your customer service policies, or use a more compassionate voice in your marketing materials.
Customers shouldn’t be the only audience of empathy. Employee happiness is directly related to productivity. Practicing compassion with your employees will boost morale, employee engagement, and employee retention. We’re not suggesting every office or break room needs a foosball table. Most people want to know that they matter. They want to know their work contributes to the overall success of the team.
Consult Specialized Professionals
Whether you have a small owner-operated property or an extensive network of properties, utilizing a team of specialized professionals will help you stay up on trends and ahead of the game. As things change, the speed of business will continue to increase. Make sure you have solid relationships with specialized professionals who can guide you to the best decisions for your business.
With this year’s pandemic crisis, social protest, and tenuous presidential elections, many businesses failed in 2020. They failed because they were not able to adapt. Financial analysts are predicting even more distress for 2021. Being ready to take change as it comes is paramount to future success.
With these critical building blocks in place, your hotel has the best chance of surviving into 2021 and beyond.